Friday 31 August 2012

Brit Quilt Swap 3

I am loving life in Blogland......

I see what other sewers are up to and gain great inspiration from them, diving into swaps take it to another dimension...

I have to move out of my comfort zone, which is a very positive move..... Brit Quilt Swap 3 was the last swap that I joined as a result of the Fat Quarterly Retreat... (we have the dates for next year..eek!)
The criteria was to make a small quilt between 12" and 24" square.. as with the frame purse swap we had to make an inspirational mosaic to show our partner and then 'blog stalking' is also allowed..
I have just finished my piece and it will be on its way to a new home this weekend... I had an idea from the get go of what I wanted to do and of course 'Miss Procrastination' came to stay for a few weeks while I hummed and haahed (!) about how I would create this piece.

Once the Olympics were over I had to send her away and knuckle down... I drew a rough sketch and went to my stash.... I had thought I would finally get to use some of the fabulous hand dye fabrics I have been buying from Heide Stoll-Weber her fabrics are glorious riots of colour and have a wonderful sheen.. but then I found some other fabric that I thought I could work with better. Sorry partner my stash remains intact - it is waiting for the day that I feel confident enough to just make a whole-cloth quilt.

This fabric had bands of colour across it and as they were all from the same 'dye family' I felt sure they would take the angst out of colour matching for me....

I joined in the group as we posted pictures on Flickr but I didn't want to give too much away as my partner might be intelligent and work out that it was for her... so I just put up glimpses..

I used some traditional elements as you can see in the flying geese but the rest of it I made up as I went along.. it was really fun to cut and sew, then offer it up alongside the sketch. The background was a pack of hand dyed grey/blues that I found in the depths and that little bit of deep green is hand dyed silk velvet from my friend Lin, in fact the only fabric I bought was for the backing and I didn't really need to buy that but I purchased some at the festival of quilts to use for the borders but then decided I didn't want to introduce other fabrics..

The quilting design was going to be horizontal until I got it framed and then I thought that diagonal lines would look like rain... and I found just the right variegated thread in my stock that added to the feel of sleeting rain (I must have been inspired by our 'summer'....)

So here it is... ready for its journey - it has been 'blocked' to keep it square but who knows what will happen on its trip...

I've really enjoyed this trip out of my comfort zone and will be stalking our postie as in a few days time I hope that a little mini quilt will be arriving to live with us from my mystery partner...

So I am up to date with all my swap sewing, the fabric from my september Kinky Bee partner will be here soon and I have one block from my Fat Quarter Designer mystery to be going on with...

And would you look at that..... Up in the top right hand corner - a new button has appeared.... 


Watch this space... 
"To the Stash Cave Robin........"



Wednesday 29 August 2012

Sewing Mojo

A lot of bloggers have been commenting lately on their lack of 'Mojo".... Most of them have young children and are nearing the end of the Summer holidays...  Whether you have been away or have just been at home, having children around is always going to take up VST.... (valuable sewing time..) even if you encourage them to join in and make something for themselves - it isn't the same as having that nice bit of time to yourself.. Selfish I know but it sometimes keeps you sane..  Not that I have that problem at the moment... I am an 'Inbetweener" - no not like the ones on the TV... I am between Children and Grandchildren and currently have an empty nest - not a situation that I like actually, I love to have a full house with lots of noise and laughter.

But in the meantime I do get to have a lot of time to sew - I count myself lucky in that..... and my Mojo is alive and well... producing lots of bits & pieces at the moment.

I have just been finishing off 2 blocks for the Kinky Bee I am involved with.. I have to get organised with fabrics and a pattern for February when everyone will be making me blocks which will be turned into a quilt..


These are glimpses of my Brit Quilt 3 Swap mini quilt which is nearing completion and will be sent off this weekend... I don't want to show too much of it as I want it to be a surprise for its new owner.....



I am just getting it 'blocked' and then will back it and put a hanging sleeve on... will be sad to see it go but I get to welcome a new one home here.....



Tuesday 21 August 2012

Festival Fun..



"Another Festival" you say? This time it was the fabric variety... I've been at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham...

Helping out on a stand doesn't give you a lot of time for browsing and every year I come home and hear about quilts that I didn't get to see.... even though I mark my catalogue if I see a name I know.

I think this quilter... won best in show last year. I don't have my catalogue here.

But I do love to browse around the vendors - and there were a lot of 'New kids on the Block' this year. Some of the online stores have this opportunity to get out and meet their customers and make new ones.

The Sissix Big Shot system was the new 'Toy' this year... pity I bought the Acuquilt Go last year (I have a half share with a friend) I am very happy with the basic shapes we have... But the Sissex dies are a lot cheaper if I wanted to go down the applique route.. I had a play on the stand with a free workshop... Katy was my 'Instructress" and they were doing 7 sessions a day but she was still smiling on day 3 - at least I think it was a smile!!

This years 'Best in Show' quilt was a step towards normality... From the group that brought us the "Meerkat' quilt from last year, this year they came up with the Quilters Olympics... great fun, well made and a quilt that many of us 'normal' quilters could see ourselves making if only we had the ideas.. It is so refreshing to have an injection of fun instead of taking ourselves too seriously. It has probably caused a lot of comment, particularly from those who don't 'get' our English sense of humour but this is an English quilt festival..
Sorry I didn't get close ups of the details but I am sure this one will be doing the rounds of the smaller shows and appearing in quilt magazines... I love the 'audience'.....

Thursday 16 August 2012

Olympic Sewing




I've been a complete Olympic junkie... We were able to get to see quite a few events over the last 2 weeks and we have been staying with our son in London so sewing time has been non existent  but the whole experience has been great.... So proud that this huge event has gone so well...
Our first event was at the Excell Stadium where we saw Women's weightlifting .... It was great entertainment..
I should apologise to this athlete for the unflattering photo but it did make us giggle when a Games Maker came out with a mop every so often...!!


We also took a trip across the Thames on the new cable car ride.... Great views... and a very efficient way to cross the Thames..


Then it was off to Wimbledon where we saw the epic match between Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro, which lasted so long we missed out on our dessert ..  Then a very quick match between Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka - one sided..!


 Which one looks like the athlete?

Then came another great game between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic ..... I haven't been to Wimbledon for many years and I had forgotten just how different it is to see a match live... I may make more of an effort to get tickets in the future...
and for the 'Football' fans... this was our transport to Wimbledon.... 




Back on the Olympic trail and the next stop was Wembley for Women's football a pretty good game between France and Japan... France were unlucky .
A little busy getting out...!!
Then off to the Olympic park where we had tickets in the Copper Box to see Handball... It has been very popular as a newish sport on the scene... We saw a womens match and they are great athletes.. The game is fast and tough as they fling themselves towards the goal... Landing hard without the need for padding or mats.... ouch ... the mop was in use again but this time it was for sweat marks on the court...

We had the rest of the day to spend around the Olympic Park.. it was fabulous to see so many people all enjoying the event.... no drunkeness or bad behaviour... The big screen park was very popular and crowded all day... and there was no doubt when a GB competitor was involved- the roars could be heard for miles....


Our last event was the Womens football final at Wembley between USA and Japan.... a record crowd of over 80,000 made for an electric atmosphere and a game that was won by the USA avenging their defeat in the world championships...



So thats it... all over and I am so proud that the whole event went so well.... from the  Wonderful Opening ceremony to the 'slightly cheesy' closing party... is it me or did Ray Davis look like he'd been embalmed?
Back to the sewing machine... I am enthused again... but not for long - I am off to the Festival of Quilts from Thursday to Saturday.. I will be popping in to help Karin Hellaby on her Quilting in Action stand and trying to keep my purse locked away as I really do not 'need' to buy anything..... or will I?